Secret Files: Tawky Tawny
Times Past, 1941
Mr. Tawny Hunts for a Job
by Dan Swanson
Being an intelligent talking tiger has its advantages, but as Mr. Tawny finds out in this untold tale from his early years, it’s not easy to get a job!
From the latest edition of Who’s Who in Fawcett City, entry for Tawky Tawny:
Tawky Tawny, originally known as Mr. Tawny, was a tiger cub raised in the jungle by Tom Todd, the son of a missionary. When a native was killed by a tiger, and the crime was blamed on the boy’s pet, an old hermit living in the jungle (who just happened to be a brilliant biochemist), gave the tiger a serum that advanced him forward on the evolutionary scale, enhancing his intelligence, giving him the ability to speak, and eventually allowing him to walk upright. The now-talking tiger captured the tiger that was actually responsible for the killing, clearing his name.
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Return of Mr. Tawny,” Captain Marvel Adventures #82 (March, 1948).]
Now that Mr. Tawny had proven himself innocent, the young tiger decided it was time for him to find a job. He couldn’t go back to being a pet, after all. And he’d never again be just a wild animal, either. He consulted with his former master, Tom Todd. The kid’s favorite reading was the Sunday funnies. The major source of news at the mission was newspapers, carried in by porters on their monthly supply runs, and they always brought the funnies, because they knew they were his favorites. And Tom’s most favorite was Superman. When he grew up, he wanted to be a reporter, just like Clark Kent.
So powerful was the boy’s enthusiasm that Mr. Tawny picked up on it, and he, too, decided he wanted to work for a great metropolitan newspaper. So one day, he asked Tom to write a letter for him, and they sent it to the New York Daily Globe to international editor Perry Taylor. The two then went crazy waiting for the reply. It didn’t come and didn’t come, and finally, some six months later, the young tiger got a personal special delivery letter from Perry Taylor.
He carefully slit open the envelope with a claw. Mr. Tawny had learned to read by accompanying Tom to school, and he anxiously read this most important letter of his life. Perry acknowledged that a talking tiger would have a unique take on the news, but unfortunately right now, the Daily Globe was only hiring experienced writers and just didn’t have an opening for a… cub reporter.